Stuart McCloskey: the highly-rated Ulster centre will be in action for Emerging Ireland against Russia. Photo: Kevin Boyes/Inpho/Presseye

Ireland’s participation in the IRB Nations Cup – they played in the Tiblisi Cup last year – is fundamentally to secure a competitive outlet for what m(...)

 Declan Fitzpatrick will prove a formidable presence in the  Ulster  front row for tonight’s clash with Leinster. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Pressey/Inpho

Leinster losing three in games in succession is hard to imagine. They may be blessed by the lack of artillery in the Red Hand brigade, seeking to aven(...)

Ulster’s  Nick Williams returns to the backrow.

Injuries are rarely opportune but Ulster’s Stuart Olding will be especially miffed to miss out after suffering a concussion in last week’s victory. An(...)

A general view of a revamped Ravenhill where Ulster beat Leinster in a pre-season friendly.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ulster 21 Leinster 19: As is the way with pre-season friendlies the result was always secondary to what was essentially a hit-out for the expanded an(...)